>> Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Lent is a journey. For a child a journey can be a time of great anticipation or great frustration. Think of the “are we there yet” syndrome. Maddening for mom and dad and just frightful for the children.
Since Lent can be a somber time it can be a challenge to parents to create the kind of atmosphere that can lead to a joyous Easter. We need to make sure that children are aware that sacrifice and penance are an important part of the season but the end result is joy.
That can be a tough sell.
Dawn has taken the journey aspect of Lent and made it visual and appealing for her young sons. Her idea of a daily offering for God makes the Lenten theme of going outside of yourself a very concrete and real one for small children. The path that her chart follows makes the journey exciting and the anticipation of Easter more exciting. There will be great love given in Dawn’s house this Lenten season.
Another great Lenten practice is that of Operation Rice Bowl. These bowls are available widely at church and your rectory and can be a beautiful way for your children to see the fruits of their little sacrifices. Each time they forgo a sweet or privilege a small monetary value is placed in the small cardboard “bowl”. On Easter Sunday the bowls are brought to church and the proceeds go to Catholic Relief Services to help alleviate hunger in developing nations. In 2007 the featured countries are Mexico, Pakistan, Angola, Cambodia and Niger. Find these countries on your world map or in your atlas and do a little extra reading about the challenges the children in these areas face as compared to the children here.
Kimberlee is getting Ready for Lent in her customary crafty way. Her idea of keeping fidgety boys occupied by tying knots for rosaries is, to my mind, sheer genius. The links and instructions she gives to make rosaries appropriate to be sent tour heroes fighting in the war are a beautiful way to teach children about true sacrifice. Who is giving more than our brave soldiers? Kimberlee also has her pretty household crochet ladies making wee little hats for a local charity.
I encourage you to check in here at These Forty Days for more ways to create a fruitful Lent for your whole family. If you have a craft that you wish to share please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with either directions, pictures or a link to your blog.
Have a blessed day